Kellyanne Conway is still, after all these many months, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal mouthpieces. And yet there are still some things she cannot abide.
Earlier this month, Conway broke with the president by saying something neither he nor his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been willing to admit out loud: “I don’t believe journalists are the enemy of the people.” Now, she seems to be having trouble going as hard against her former colleague and friend Omarosa Manigault-Newman as her boss has been on Twitter.
Just as Manigault-Newman’s tell-all book Unhinged hits shelves on Tuesday, her war of words with the president has been heating up. After the former Apprentice contestant accused him of being a straight-up “racist,” Trump tweeted, “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”
The president’s use of the word “dog” to describe the only senior African-American staffer to serve in his administration struck many as out of line, including Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, who asked Conway about the tweet on Tuesday. “That dog,” he said, repeating the president’s words. “I know he’s not happy about this, but is that language necessary?”
Unable to defend Trump’s commentary, Conway would only say that she’s “disappointed” in Manigault-Newman and thinks her “best play would have to take credit for a lot of the great things Donald Trump has done for this country, including for African Americans.”
When Hemmer asked again specifically about Trump’s use of the word “dog” and suggested Trump doesn’t want to “sell more book for her along the way,” Conway simply smiled tightly and stayed silent.
Earlier in the segment, Conway spoke of Manigault-Newman as someone she “considered a colleague and a friend for a very long time,” noting that she was involved in planning her bridal shower, itself a controversial event after she reportedly brought 39 members of her bridal party to the West Wing for a photo shoot.
“I always thought I had a good relationship with her,” Conway said. “So I want to say, she never pulled me aside, said to me, ‘Hey, I heard the president say this and I don’t know what to do with it.’”
In Conway’s telling, it was only after Manigault-Newman left the White House that she heard the alleged tape of Trump using the “n-word” behind the scenes of The Apprentice. “I have never heard the president issue a racial slur about anyone in the two-plus years I’ve been working alongside him without interruption,” Conway declared.